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31 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Why blockchain and bitcoin will never keep the promises they make

(31 January 2018, p43, by Nouriel Roubini) ‘The financial services industry has been undergoing a revolution. But the driving force is not overhyped blockchain applications such as bitcoin. It is a revolution built on artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things.’ <snipped…> ‘Worse, cryptocurrencies in general are based on a false premise. According … Continue reading

31 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Overvalued housing puts economy ‘at the precipice’: Industry Super Australia

(31 January 2018, AFR, p35, by Michael Bleby) ‘Unsustainably high housing prices put Australia’s economy “at the precipice” of a once-in-a-century bust if global borrowing costs rise more than 150 basis points, warns Industry Super Australia, the peak body for industry super funds. Housing prices in Melbourne and Sydney rose to nearly seven times average … Continue reading

31 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Bigger number of smaller IPOs tipped for 2018 – Big IPOs elude ASX in 2017: HLB Mann Judd report

(31 January 2018, AFR, p20, by Michael Bailey) ‘Funds raised by initial public offerings on the Australian Stock Exchange plummeted 46 per cent in 2017, and a trend toward greater numbers of smaller raisings will continue in early 2018, a report has found. The analysis of IPOs by professional services firm HLB Mann Judd found … Continue reading

31 Jan 2018 (AFR) – House prices have already stopped falling: Macquarie

(31 January 2018, AFR, p5, by Matthew Cranston) ‘House prices have stopped falling according to Macquarie analysts. “It is now looking very likely that housing prices at the national level are again rising modestly,” the analysts said in a note to clients. Their analysis is based on an assessment of seasonally adjusted house price data … Continue reading

31 Jan 2018 (TheAge) – Deutsche Bank says investing in bitcoin could lead to ‘total loss’

(31 January 2018, The Age, Business, p29, Stephan Kahl) ‘Deutsche Bank AG’s Wealth Management currently doesn’t advise investing in cryptocurrencies, according to Markus Mueller, Global Head of Chief Investment Office. Problematic issues include high volatility, possible price manipulation and data loss or data theft, he told Bloomberg News in an interview.’ Read more at

30 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Melbourne, Sydney homes face 1-in-5 chance of price correction: JP Morgan

(30 January 2018, AFR, p32, by Michael Bleby) ‘Melbourne and Sydney housing prices face a near one-in-five risk of price correction after rising faster against wages than in other cities, new research by JP Morgan says. Surging dwelling prices in the two largest cities put the median Sydney house price at $940,000 – equivalent to … Continue reading

30 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Wheat, beef big winners from TPP without Donald Trump: Elders

( 30 January 2018, AFR, p6, by Brad Thompson) ‘Elders chief executive Mark Allison sees positives for Australia’s biggest agricultural industries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership going ahead without the United States. Mr Allison said a successful conclusion of the trade deal, minus the US, would work in favour of both the grains and red meat … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Cotton, lamb, avos, nuts and grapes: The hot rural property sectors

(29 January 2018, AFR, p31, by: Larry Schlesinger, Matthew Cranston) ‘Australian farmland values are expected to rise for a fifth consecutive year in 2018 fuelled by low interest rates, rising commodity prices, favourable growing conditions and more profitable farmers looking to expand, according to valuers, fund managers and rural estate agents. Sectors like sheep – … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (AFR) – (Aust) Earnings season kicks off with forecasts intact – Miners ride high into new profit season

(29 January 2018, AFR, p26, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The earnings season kicks off quietly this week, setting up a second straight year of healthy profit growth carried by the resources sector riding high on the back of accelerating global growth. The next few weeks could also stress test the valuations of high-flying growth stocks as … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Fund managers wary on IPOs despite bumper 2018 outlook

[COMMENT: This article is giving us a heads up regarding the IPO pipeline in the year ahead. This indicates something about the health of the economy. However, some people prefer not to participate in IPOs – read more about the reasons why in my Share Market Toolbox.] (29 January 2018, AFR, p18, by Joyce Moullakis) … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Big four build $600m ‘war chest’ to win mortgage market share with discount loans

(29 January 2018, AFR, p3, by Duncan Hughes) ‘The big four banks have built a war chest of more than $600 million to fund deep discounts and attractor rates in a bid to grab market share as momentum in the $1.7 trillion property market slows. Borrowers with 20 per cent deposits, a good record and … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Job growth brings end to ‘income recession’, hopes for wage relief

(29 January 2018, AFR, p1, by Jacob Greber) ‘Two of the nation’s top economists have called an end to the income recession that has cruelled wages growth, plagued budget repair, and fuelled the rise of populist political movements since late 2012. Strong jobs growth, rising profitability, and a gradual tightening in the labour market as companies find it … Continue reading

29 Jan 2018 (TheAge) – Banks slash coal loans by 50 per cent as investor pressure mounts

(29 January 2018, The Age, p20, Clancy Yeates) ‘Australia’s big banks slashed loans to fossil fuel companies by almost a fifth in 2017, including a 50 per cent drop in their coal mining exposure, new analysis shows, as investors and regulators ramp up pressure over climate change risks. ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and … Continue reading

27 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Wall Street shoots to new records

(27 January 2018, AFR online) ‘The latest round of strong earnings reports, including from Intel and AbbVie, along with continued weakness in the dollar lifted each of the major Wall Street indexes to closing records on Friday. The three main indexes notched their best four-week run since 2016.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

25 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Quintis: Inside the year that broke the sandalwood grower

(25 January 2018, AFR, p37, by Vesna Poljak) ‘In March 2017, a celebrity crowd toasted the rebranding of sandalwood grower Quintis at the Glasshouse in Melbourne’s sporting precinct. AFL boss Gillon McLachlan attended with cricketers Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, a former director of the company back when it was known as TFS.’ <snipped…> ‘This … Continue reading

25 Jan 2018 (AFR) – JPMorgan $25b investment boosts Trump tax cuts

(25 January 2018, AFR, p12, by John Kehoe) ‘JPMorgan has pledged a broad $US20 billion ($25 billion) investment in its business, staff and customers, making it the latest US company to link its expansion plans to President Donald Trump’s $US1.5 trillion tax cuts and war on of red tape. In an economic, political and public relations … Continue reading

25 Jan 2018 (AFR) – BAEP tops Mercer survey of the best Australian share funds of 2017

[COMMENT: Warning! Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. The performance of fund managers can vary from year to year.] (25 January 2018, AFR, p10, by Patrick Commins) ‘The best performing Australian shares fund in 2017 was managed by Bennelong Australian Equity Partners, in a year where big gains were available to investors … Continue reading

25 Jan 2018 (SMH online) – ASX slides into three-day weekend, $A shines

(25 January 2018, SMH online, Sarah Turner) ‘Australian shares weakened on Thursday, as investors ended a holiday-shortened week on a downbeat note, while the Australian dollar briefly vaulted back over US81¢. The S&P/ASX 200 index edged down 4 points, to 0.1 per cent, to 6050, while the All Ordinaries lost the same amount in points … Continue reading

25 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Consumers are in surprisingly sunny mood – Retailers pin hopes on higher consumer confidence

(25 January 2018, AFR, p41, by Sue Mitchell) ‘Commsec chief economist Craig James has always been a glass-half-full kind of guy. So the 55-year old economist was not entirely surprised when Australian consumers returned from the Christmas and New Year break feeling more chipper than they had for four years. But the holiday glow did … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Are we on the cusp of a major rally in commodity prices?

(24 January 2018, AFR, p27, by Karen Maley) ‘Are we in the early stages of a major rally in commodity prices, as stronger global growth lifts demand, while the tumbling US dollar cuts prices for buyers outside the United States? Looking at the historic relationship between the US equity market and commodity prices (measured by … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Rising US bond yields flash warning – could bring shares under pressure

(24 January 2018, AFR, p26, by John Kehoe) ‘US bond yields continued to climb to multi-year highs overnight, before a temporary resolution to the US government shutdown, and investors are pointing to a key market crossing point as a potential warning sign. The yield on the 2-year US Treasury bond of 2.07 per cent has … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Signs the ETF party is starting to sour

(24 January 2018, AFR, p24, by Rachel Evans) ‘Welcome to the big leagues, ETFs. With trillions of dollars now being held in thousands of different products, exchange-traded funds have gone from a sideshow of the financial world to the centre stage. No where is this more apparent than at this week’s annual schmooze-fest in Hollywood, Florida, called … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – The share price will get there in the end – Because the share price knows best

[COMMENT: This article provides an interesting insight. Some market participants think like this (described below), while many do not. Some people would even say this line of thinking is speculation – investing on an opinion which might be little more than gut-feeling.] (24 January 2018, AFR, p23, by Elio D’Amato) ‘There is a common belief … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Manufacturing and construction sectors set to be winners in 2018

(24 January 2018, AFR, p22, by Paul Taylor) ‘As the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 continues its upward march in 2018, it is worth a brief look back at 2017. Last year the local market delivered strong returns despite considerable headwinds. Global political instability, rising US interest rates, increasing levels of government intervention and subdued GDP growth … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Resmed CEO Mick Farrell says US tax changes have ‘liberated’ its $US1b cash pile

(24 January 2018, AFR, p11, by James Thomson) ‘The chief executive of medical device group ResMed has urged Australia’s politicians to follow the lead of the United States on corporate tax reform, saying the US changes have “liberated” $US1 billion in cash that ResMed can invest in its American operations. Mick Farrell described the reduction … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Shutdown ends after Democrats agree to trust Senator McConnell

(24 January 2018, AFR, p11, by Sean Sullivan, Ed O’Keefe and Elise Viebeck) ‘After three days of contentious negotiations and name-calling, Congress voted to end a government shutdown when Democrats agreed to trust the word of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. President Donald Trump signed the spending bill on Monday evening (Tuesday AEDT). The impact of … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Record jobs growth predicted on back of weak wage pressures

(24 January 2018, AFR, p4, by David Marin-Guzman) ‘Businesses are predicting low wage growth to continue in 2018, with chief executives’ concerns over wage pressures dropping to their lowest levels in five years. But they have argued moderate wage growth must continue to allow for another year of record jobs growth as investment plans and … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Malcolm Turnbull’s budget gets a Donald Trump tax cut bump

(24 January 2018, AFR, p1, by Jacob Greber) ‘Treasury is set to ramp up its global forecasts in the May budget as the Trump tax revolution helps fan a growing tailwind for the Turnbull government that will temporarily offset Australia’s declining attractiveness as a place for companies to invest and hire. A surge in confidence … Continue reading

24 Jan 2018 (TheAge,SMH) – CEOs plan to hire more without paying much more

(24 January 2018, The Age, p8, Peter Martin) ‘Businesses are expecting more sales, profits, capital investment and employment growth than at any time since 2012. The annual Australian Industry Group survey of 269 chief executives finds 155 expect to put on more staff in 2018 and only 34 plan to lose staff. It’s the first … Continue reading

23 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Office market booms: 19pc rise in inquiry points to strong 2018, Colliers says

(23 January 2018, AFR, p31, by Michael Bleby) ‘A 19 per cent increase in office leasing inquiries in the final quarter of last year points to continued strong activity this year, according to Colliers International’s latest Office Demand Index report.  Gains in the country’s largest office market of Sydney, along with surging levels of inquiry in … Continue reading